Some materials, such as iron, cobalt and nickel are magnetic. They
have the ability to be magnetized or attracted to a magnet. Permanent
magnets are made from magnetic materials and their magnetism
cannot be turned on or off, unlike electromagnets. Bar magnets are
permanent magnets; they have a north pole and a south pole. The
north pole is attracted to the Earths North Pole, and the south pole
is attracted to the Earth’s South Pole.
Attraction and Repulsion
Bar magnets can either attract or repel. When opposite sides are brought together,
they attract. When like sides are brought together they repel.
To demonstrate the polarity of bar magnets:
⇒ Cut up some straws and place the magnets on top of them
facing each other.
⇒ First place the magnets with like poles towards each other
and observe. They should repel, moving away from each other.
⇒ To test for attraction between opposite poles, turn one of
the magnets around and observe. The magnets should attract,
causing them to move towards each other.